Tamburlaine

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Sultan Bajazeth Imprisoned by Tamburlaine (1878), Stanisław Chlebowski

Tamburlaine is a history by Christopher Marlowe, based on the life of Timur. It was written in 1587 or 1588.


Part 1[edit]

Prologue[edit]

  • From jigging veins of rhyming mother wits,
    And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay,
    We'll lead you to the stately tent of war,
    Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine
    Threatening the world with high astounding terms,
    And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword.
    View but his picture in this tragic glass,
    And then applaud his fortunes as you please.
    • Chorus, Prologue, lines 1–8

Act I[edit]

  • Our swords shall play the orators for us.
    • Techelles, scene ii, line 132
  • Sooner shall the sun fall from his sphere
    Than Tamburlaine be slain or overcome.
    • Tamburlaine, scene ii, lines 176–177

Act II[edit]

  • Accurst be he that first invented war.
    • Mycetes, scene iv, line 1
  • Is it not brave to be a king, Techelles!
    Usumcasanë and Theridamas,
    Is it not passing brave to be a king?
    • Tamburlaine, scene v, lines 51–53
  • Nature, that fram'd us of four elements
    Warring within our breasts for regiment,
    Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds:
    Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend
    The wondrous Architecture of the world,
    And measure every wandering planet's course,
    Still climbing after knowledge infinite,
    And always moving as the restless Spheres,
    Will us to wear ourselves, and never rest,
    Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,
    That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
    The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.
    • Tamburlaine, scene vii, lines 18–29

Act IV[edit]

  • Virtue is the fount whence honour springs.
    • Tamburlaine, scene iv, line 132

Act V[edit]

  • Virtue solely is the sum of glory
    And fashions men with true nobility.
    • Tamburlaine, scene i, lines 189–190

Part 2[edit]

Prologue[edit]

  • His Second Part,
    Where death cuts off the progress of his pomp
    And murderous Fates throw all his triumphs down.
    • Chorus, lines 3–5

Act IV[edit]

  • Well, bark, ye dogs; I'll bridle all your tongues.
    • Tamburlaine, scene i, line 181

Act V[edit]

  • ...In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet:
    My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell,
    Slew all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends,
    And yet I live untouch'd by Mahomet.
    There is a God, full of revenging wrath,
    From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks,
    Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey.
    • Tamburlaine, scene i, lines 177–183
  • Come, let us march against the powers of heaven,
    And set black streamers in the firmament,
    To signify the slaughter of the gods.
    • Tamburlaine, scene iii, lines 48–50
  • Tamburlaine, the Scourge of God, must die.
    • Tamburlaine, scene iii, line 248
  • Let Earth and Heaven his timeless death deplore,
    For both their worths shall equal him no more.
    • Amyras, scene iii, lines 252–253